Parents, put those beach towels back in the closet: the first day of spring break is now considered a work day, according to Superintendent Dr. Donald Carlisle.
Port Chester kids woke up yesterday morning with 2-4 inches of snow, ice, and yet another snow day—marking the third this season. However, while young ones are probably rejoicing over missing that math test, today’s absence from school came with some .
Having exceeded a two-snow day maximum mandated by the New York State Department of Education, students will now have to sacrifice their much-anticipated vacation time.
Monday, April 18, which previously marked the first day of the mid-semester vacation, must be taken away to make up school work missed on today’s closing, complying with a requirement to receive state aid, as instituted by the NYSED.
Regulations require that a school is open for a total of 180 days in a given calendar year, and if any days are missed, they must be made up before June.
This year though, Port Chester has already seen a total of four winter storms—before February 1. One fell on winter break, sparing an official snow day, but the three storms since have resulted in three snow days. Officials worry that if bad weather continues for the next few months, faculty and parents should reevaluate their vacation plans
“We’ve already had a significant winter in terms of weather and it’s only January—if I was a teacher I wouldn’t make plans to go away for the week in April,” added Carlisle.
Keeping the school community out of harm’s way was first priority today for the district when they made the decision to call off classes, regardless of disappearing time off.
“I look at it as a safety issue, and to me, icy roads are a bigger issue that comes into play [for transportation],” added the official.
For those days cancelled prior to Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Port Chester has already lost May 27 and April 25, which were two holidays worked into the calendar since September. Some people aren't happy about that, but the old saying "better safe than sorry" applies when the weather makes travel dangerous.
“You have to be callous [as superintendent] to continue to do what’s right,” Carlisle said.
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